Sustainability and water
A Nestlé case study

Page 0: Introduction

Intelligent businesses in the 21st century operate with an awareness of their responsibilities to all of their stakeholders, not just responsibilities to directors and shareholders, but also to customers and, perhaps most importantly, the environment. For Nestlé, this is nothing new. From its founding in 1867 by Henri Nestlé - who developed the first cereal-milk food for infants - Nestlé has...
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Page 1: Background

Nestlé is the world's largest food and beverage company and employs over a quarter of a million workers. It is in the secondary sector at the centre of the supply chainthat starts with producers of agricultural products in the primary sector and ends with distribution and retailing in the tertiary sector. Ownership Nestlé SA acts as a holding company. SA is the Swiss equivalent...
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Page 2: Acting responsibly

Nestlé feels that it has a real role to show a lead in acting responsibly with its business partners, suppliers and customers around the world. Responsible business practices don't just make moral sense; they make good business sense. The company has therefore developed policies and principles to help it meet its general aims of fairness, honesty and concern for people. Its Corporate...
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Page 3: Nestlé and sustainable development

Nestlé defines sustainable development as "the process of increasing the world's access to higher quality food, while contributing to long-term social and economic development, and preserving the environment for future generations". Nestlé tries to be a genuine partner in sustainable development. The rise in the world's population means there is an increased demand for food. This...
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Page 4: The basic economic problem

Economists distinguish between wants and needs; needs are those things which people require to survive. These comprise food, water and protection from the elements in the form of shelter and clothing. Nestlé products fall into two of these categories (food and water). However they can only be described as wants because it is possible to survive without consuming any Nestlé products...
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Page 5: Factors of production

The factors of production are: land - natural resources including water and the proportion of the planet given over to agriculture producing raw materials labour - the human effort involved in production capital - the money invested in business including equipment purchases enterprise - the process of bringing the above factors together to make a profit. Any production process involves...
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Page 6: Limiting water usage/wastage

Between 1997 and 2001 Nestlé's volume of production increased by 32% but the amount of water used in production was actually reduced. For example, Nestlé's Harrismith plant in South Africa achieved savings of around 40% through recovery of water generated by evaporation and tight controls on the municipal water supply. Nestlé achieved a 12% reduction in wastewater production...
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Page 7: Conclusion

Nestlé is not complacent about its position, it still means to go forward, developing new policies and initiatives on eco-efficiency, responsible business practice and sustainability. Nestlé will also work with national and international bodies to improve sustainability. For example, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development set a target to decrease by half the number of...
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